Grant Major was nominated for four Academy Awards and four British Academy of Film Awards (BAFTA) for his work as a production designer on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Major won an American Film Institute award for The Fellowship of the Ring as well as an Art Director’s Guild Award for The Two Towers and again for The Return of the King. Major finally claimed his Academy Award and a Los Angeles Film Critics Society Award on the third installment of the trilogy The Return of the King. He was nominated by the International Press Association for a Satellite Award in 2003 for both The Return of the King and his work as production designer on Whale Rider, winning for The Return of the King.
Previously, Major received a New Zealand Film and Television award for Best Design on Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures in 1995. Two years later Major picked up the same award for The Ugly and again in 2010 for The Vintner’s Luck. Major’s other film credits include Jackson’s The Frighteners, Memory & Desire, An Angel at My Table, Mr. Pip, Emperor, Green Lantern, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Legend of the Green Destiny, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Meg and, as art director, for Other Halves. Major’s work as an art director for television includes telefilms ‘Hercules’ and ‘The Grasscutter’, the series “Hanlon,” as well as commercials and news programs.
Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Major’s career in design began at Television New Zealand. His background ranges from production design for Commonwealth Games ceremonies to designer for the New Zealand Pavilions at the World Expos to design consultant for the Louis Vuitton 150th year party NY, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris.
Major received an honorary doctorate from his alma mata The Auckland University of Technology and in 2005 became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit awarded by the New Zealand Government for services to the New Zealand Film Industry.